Let’s admit, you and I saw with our own eyes how the world suddenly turned its efforts to mental health, young adult suicide and depression and how the now famous line of “How we can save lives?” suddenly invaded even the most mainstream of media. And like me, you find yourself asking, “Why just now? Are the efforts enough? Do all people look at it the same way? Is it perceived as important as the day-to-day traffic condition and fluctuations in oil prices?”
Now, I’m no longer a young adult but an official one, struggling and learning and getting by, and I can’t help but wonder why back in the days when I was still a kid, people were indifferent to suicide. But has all the indifference really ended?
When I was in grade school, my brother’s childhood friend hanged himself, and as much as I felt really bad for that boy, the voices I heard made me feel like I felt the wrong emotions. Back then, I heard people say again and again that he was a sinner. I condemned it, together with all the people in the world who believed in God. I used to wonder what was in his mind when he went through with it. Maybe it was like one of those times that my grandma used to tell me about, when the devil suddenly urged you to do a sinful act in the middle of your contemplating. The will to do it was enough for the demon to stand behind you and have power over you.
I told my grandma not to judge the boy like he’d already been by other people. I never told my grandma that I felt for the boy. Because I never said I never attempted suicide; I just did not go through with it.
Then here comes 13 Reasons Why and the butterfly effect that came with it.
I have read a lot about how people reacted to this TV Show. Some reviews tell how praise‐worthy it is, some consider it controversial. Some people only have regrets watching it, some did not even try to watch it for the reason that it does not have any sense at all. Some people, on the other hand, saw the essence of the story and let it open up something inside of them. For this last type of viewer, please count me in.
Any type of art, including those shown in the small screen, can lose its element if interpreted just how it is shown. However, like I’ve said, there are many types of viewers, just like how there are numerous kinds of people in the word. For some, having a deep connection to something may be hard, while there are some who see a thing and just like that they already understand it in a personal level. I am one of the latter.
For years, the world made me feel ashamed of being too emotional and easily affected. And for years, I hated myself for being as weak as I was. I envied those who were simply detached for being so strong. How can one tiny heart feel so much and still manage to keep it together?
Then it occurred to me: maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe I really am the strong one.
It’s true that it was stupid for Hannah Baker to take her own life. However, I honestly think that leaving the tapes behind was the most brilliant and responsible thing to do. It’s ironic, but life usually is.
We are all unique in our own way. Being too sensitive in a fast‐paced world is quite challenging. There are sensitive people who can easily adapt to this and are smart enough to transfer their energy into something more positive. However, there are some who can’t seem to escape from their feelings and the more time that passes, the heavier their baggage becomes. The ugly part of being too emotional is blaming yourself for almost everything, even the littlest of things. The ugliest part is feeling bad for blaming yourself for almost everything.
Do you ever wonder why the smarter ones and the conscientious ones and the kinder ones are the people who are more susceptible to depression? I believe the reason for this is because they are smart enough to know that every action leads to another, and every bad experience that is happening to them is a result of their actions in the past. And because they are kind, they cannot just point a finger at anyone. The best they can do is be hard to themselves.
Maybe Hannah Baker is just like me. Maybe she’s just like any of us. The only difference between us is she had enough reasons for taking her own life. Or did she?
We cannot simply say that taking your own life can be justified by a certain amount of valid reasons. But in another person’s point of view, this can be. As I always say, we are all the same one way or another, just like how we are all different one way or another. How can we blame someone if we cannot even be them for a split second?
I think the creators of this show want us to focus more on Hannah’s reasons, hence the title. They want us to see how a petty act may not be so petty to another.
They want us to stop putting the blame to the victim but rather, start looking within ourselves and see if we have ever done something to affect not just one person but many people around us.
I hope that someday, I will be able to share with you the personal experiences that I can relate with this show.
For now, I just want to recommend watching and understanding the truth behind Hannah Baker’s suicide. This may help us easily recognize if some of her reasons already exist in our lives. We can always choose to confront them or deal with them the best way we know before it gets worse.
More importantly, remember this: we all have a part of us that feels hopeless, that sees all the injustice in the world, that feels helpless and resigned. There is no harm in expressing our frustrations and disappointments in life the best way we can. Do not let the world dictate what being strong and being weak is. After all, there is always a Hannah Baker in each one of us.